France


France Delays Digital Taxes

Posted on January 30th, by Global Tax Weekly in E-commerce. No Comments

France will suspend digital tax payments for 2020 to prevent the imposition of tariffs on certain French imports into the United States.

The French DST is a three percent tax on the revenue of digital companies providing advertising services, selling user data for advertising purposes, or performing intermediation services. Companies with global revenues of EUR750m (USD838m) or more and French sales of at least EUR25m are required to pay the tax.

The US argues that the tax unfairly discriminates against American companies and is currently considering proposals to impose retaliatory tariffs of up to 100 percent on around USD2.4bn worth of French products.

However, according to various media reports, following discussions between French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin against the backdrop of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, France has agreed not to collect digital tax payments … Read More »


France And US Near Digital Tax Compromise

Posted on January 16th, by Global Tax Weekly in E-commerce. No Comments

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has revealed that France and the United States would be attempting this month to reach a compromise over their ongoing dispute regarding France’s new digital services tax (DST).

The French DST is a three percent tax on the revenue of digital companies providing advertising services, selling user data for advertising purposes, or performing intermediation services. Companies with global revenues of EUR750m (USD838m) or more and French sales of at least EUR25m are required to pay the tax.

The US argues that the tax unfairly discriminates against US-based companies and is currently threatening to retaliate against the measure, imposing additional duties of 100 percent on certain French imports with a trade value of USD2.4bn.

Addressing a press conference alongside the European Commissioner for Trade, Phil Hogan, Le Maire said that France and the US have agreed to “redouble … Read More »


France Plans Online VAT Changes

Posted on October 3rd, by Global Tax Weekly in Sales Tax. No Comments

The French authorities have been busy, unveiling plans on September 23 to ensure the payment of value-added tax on items bought by French residents from online marketplaces, as part of a package of measures included in the 2020 Finance Law.

Under the proposals, announced by Minister of Public Accounts Gerald Darmanin during a visit to an Amazon delivery facility near Paris, online marketplaces facilitating sales between third-party sellers and buyers in France will be liable for VAT on these purchases from 2021.

The reforms will also see the creation of a blacklist of online platforms that fail to comply with certain tax and reporting requirements.

In an additional measure, logistics warehouses will be required to keep a record of the origin and destination of packages, and the amount of VAT due, for a period of 10 years.

The measures will also be accompanied by … Read More »


France And United States Negotiating To Avoid Tariffs

Posted on August 28th, by Global Tax Weekly in Trade. No Comments

The Governments of France and the United States are reportedly close to settling a dispute surrounding France’s digital services tax.

The US President had said that he intended to announce new tariffs on imports of French wine in response to the newly introduced French DST, which the US Government argued unfairly discriminates against US companies.

The French DST imposes a three percent tax rate on the revenue of digital companies providing advertising services, selling user data for advertising purposes, or performing intermediation services. Companies with global revenues of EUR750m (USD835m) or more and French sales of at least EUR25m are required to pay the tax.

The tax, approved by the French Parliament on July 11, 2019, will to apply to turnover realized in France since January 1, 2019, and is expected to affect around 30 companies supplying digital services in France.

The Office of … Read More »


French Digital Services Tax Approved

Posted on July 22nd, by Global Tax Weekly in Corporation Tax. No Comments

On July 11, 2019, France’s proposed digital services tax received Parliamentary approval, following approval from the Senate.

The three percent turnover tax will be imposed (retrospectively on turnover realized from January 1, 2019) on digital companies providing advertising services, selling user data for advertising purposes, or performing intermediation services. Companies with global revenues of EUR750m (USD852m) or more and French sales of at least EUR25m will be required to pay the tax.

The tax is intended to be a temporary measure until an agreement is reached on international digital tax measures at the OECD. However, in the meantime, I’m sure the additional revenue will be welcomed by the French authorities. (Despite being not as much as one might expect, having been estimated at an additional EUR500m per year, from approximately 30 companies.)

For more information on this, and other topical international tax matters, … Read More »


French Tax Authorities To Scan Social media

Posted on November 22nd, by Global Tax Weekly in Tax Avoidance. No Comments

Long gone are the days of invisible ink, candlesticks in libraries, and paper trails. Now the trail that many an investigator must follow, including those detecting for tax evasion, is digital. Indeed, unless you are completely off-grid, it’s probably nigh-on impossible not to leave digital finger and footprints all over the place without even realizing it.

Social media is becoming something of a treasure trove for those looking for people with hidden secrets. Or not so secret secrets, as the case may be. And again, this is a platform that is becoming very useful to the tax man. This was highlighted by French Budget Minister Gerard Darmanin’s announcement last week that the tax authorities will soon begin trawling through peoples’ social media accounts looking for signs that one’s lifestyle doesn’t quite match the humble income declared on one’s tax return. Well, … Read More »


French Tax Authorities Face Legal Difficulties In Google Case

Posted on June 21st, by Global Tax Weekly in Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). No Comments

The word substance has become integral to the base erosion and profit shifting project. But it’s also one that appears to be causing businesses and tax authorities the world over significant problems.

Of course, one of the core aims of BEPS is to prevent situations whereby taxpayers get away with double non-taxation. However, as the International Chamber of Commerce pointed out last week, the increased focus by revenue authorities on economic substance combined with a lack of clarity on the definition of the term across jurisdictions is leading to more cases of income being doubly taxed, rather than the other way around.

Facing the prospect of being wrongly taxed, taxpayers have little choice but to fight it out in the tax tribunals and appeals courts, which even in the most advanced countries is usually an expensive, time-consuming process, and risky if litigation … Read More »


Tax Policy Changes Loom After French Election

Posted on May 2nd, by Global Tax Weekly in Elections. No Comments

Things seem fairly predictable in France at the moment, and pollsters – a profession which has taken something of a reputational knock recently – must have breathed a sigh of relief when the first round of the French elections ended as predicted, with Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen through to the upcoming run-off vote.

Yet, there’s an element of the unknown about both choices. For this isn’t the usual straight fight between mainstream left and right; it’s a contest between a relatively politically inexperienced unaffiliated centrist and a firebrand nationalist.

In an age when many politicians are accused of being cut from the same cloth and eternally vying for the middle ground, nobody can accuse Macron and Le Pen of being the same, including in the area of tax. Consequently, for business taxpayers, tax policy could go in two very different directions … Read More »


Airbnb Looking Into New Tax Agreements

Posted on February 21st, by Global Tax Weekly in Travel. No Comments

Should innovative new business models adapt to the tax system, or should governments and tax authorities adapt to innovative new business models? I rather think, for the sake of human progress, that, for the most part, the latter should apply. But perhaps we are at risk of allowing the former to happen more and more. This especially seems to be the case in the so-called “sharing economy.”

Take Airbnb for example. It recently announced that by the spring of 2017 it will have the systems in place to remit and collect France’s various local hotel and occupancy taxes in 50 cities. In other words, the company has spent considerable time and effort on a project that is nothing to do with its core business activities, and all to do the French tax authorities’ jobs for them. Of course, the traditional hotel and hospitality … Read More »


French Government Backpedals On Corporate Tax Policy

Posted on October 4th, by Global Tax Weekly in Corporation Tax. No Comments

There has been a generally underwhelming response from businesses in France about the Government’s long-trumpeted plans to install a 28 percent intermediate rate of corporate tax. Earlier this year, Medef, the main employers’ association in France, slammed the proposal as a “half-measure” that would provide only a modicum of tax relief to a relatively small number of companies, much of which will be offset by the increased complexity and compliance costs brought about by having to account for an additional tax rate. That may be true, but the 2017 Budget could have been a lot worse for taxpayers, especially if the current Government had gone on as it started back in 2011, when it began its life raising tax left, right, and center. Indeed, if it had carried on in that vein, there would have been scarcely anything left untaxed … Read More »





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